You may have come to picture solar panels as rectangles angled toward the sun atop homes and businesses across the country. What you're picturing is most likely an array of silicon-based solar panels -- which come in two common "flavors," monocrystalline and polycrystalline. But next time you see such a system, take a good look... maybe even snap a picture. There's an emerging kind of solar panel that could soon make today's standard model look as old as your dad's Walkman: thin-film solar. There's been a lot of talk about this kind of technology lately, so we thought it wise to explain a bit about solar thin-film technology.
Here at GetSolar, we deal mostly with putting solar panels on or beside buildings. Occasionally, however, we talk about putting solar on other things, like luggage, radios, ipods and iphones, bluetooth headsets, helmets and even summer vacation. This next one, I have to admit, is especially cool and intriguingly practical.
Late last week, Juwi Solar, a Colorado-based solar power project developer, announced that it completed a 12.6-megawatt (MW) thin-film solar energy installation on 77 acres of land in Ohio's Wyandot County. The company says the plant is now the largest solar-energy generating facility in the state.
A Spanish-German partnership has helped provide a glimpse into the future of the solar industry. It's a future where roof-mounted frames are obsolete and homeowners associations can't object to the look of solar because the panels are nearly invisible.
Royal Caribbean is bringing solar power to sea in a whole new way. The Miami-based cruise line operator has installed some 21,000 square feet of solar thin film on Oasis of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship. The $750,000 solar installation was completed by BAM Solar Power, a solar enegy installation outfit based in Jacksonville, Florida.
The solar industry’s recovery is just over the horizon, with help from U.S. stimulus funds, new government projects and new methods of financing—or that’s how an executive from solar powerhouse Sharp Corp. sees it, anyway.
Colorado-based Ascent Solar Technologies has announced a new peak efficiency for their CIGS solar modules, Greentech Media reports. At 11 percent, the gain is a significant jump over a previous average efficiency of about 9 percent. Ascent produces flexible thin film solar which lays a chemical compound (copper indium gallium selenide, hence the CIGS) on plastic rolls.